Content & Outcomes

from John Paling’s Presentation

Understanding Risk & Building Resilience

  • Up to your Armpits in Alligators? How to understand risks and build resiliency.
  • How to communicate the safety of your products and services.
  • Dealing with the uncertainties: Living in the Post 9-11 World. How to take back your life by putting risks into perspective.

In these helpful and upbeat presentations, John Paling offers a new approach to conquering risks and building resiliency. He offers simple tools that allow everyone to focus on what really matters for their safety, their success and their happiness.

He teaches the reasons that the general public tends to respond to risks on the basis of emotions rather than on the evidence of what the facts from past experience indicate- and what professional communicators can do about it. He stresses the importance of distinguishing between perception and reality when it comes to deciding how much time, money and worry to devote to a particular risk.

John helps his audiences by offering simple ways in which individuals can decide for themselves (by their own values and judgments) what they feel are the biggest concerns threatening their lives. Finally, to keep matters in perspective, John shows that Building Resiliency is perhaps the most important skill of all.

The contents of each presentation will be selected from the following as is most appropriate to serve the audience’s special needs.

  • A lighthearted review of how society tends to deal with the bombardment of information associated with risks and fears.
  • A brief review of the role of the media in presenting risks and how that impacts public perceptions
  • An explanation of how experts and the general public assess risks totally differently - and what communicators can do to fill the “risk vacuum”
  • Discussion (and rejection) of the manipulative ways that others advocate that professional risk communicators should adopt.
  • Support the position that the public should not be “spun” but rather that they can sort relative risks for themselves if they are trusted and given some tools to empower them to make their own decisions.
  • Introduce (freely available) simple new communication tools that allow non-technical people to put risks into perspective for themselves.
  • Show how the Paling Perspective Scale can serve as “A Richter Scale for Risks” that allows the public to compare some new risk with the risks they are already “at home with”.
  • Demonstrate how using the scale permits many aspects of society to be put into a clearer perspective so showing that perhaps more (or less) attention should be devoted to them.
  • Introduce Paling’s research on “Resiliency Factors” and invite audience members to consider whether, with these in mind, they are focusing their time most effectively to gain the results that they seek.
  • Discuss how the fallout from 9/11 has obstructed society’s ability to deal objectively with new fears and to suggest how citizens can use both facts and emotions to best make decisions for their future.
  • Round off the presentation in an upbeat and supportive way by pointing out that all of us can tap into our preexisting reserves of resiliency – if we are true to our nature.

These presentations typically include brief segments from Palings’ Emmy-awarded, National Geographic wildlife films (narrated live) to serve as memorable metaphors for the key points of his message.

If you would like us to customize our communications tools to focus on your own needs, or if you would like to inquire about John Paling speaking at your next meeting, please contact us.
The Risk Communication Institute
5822 N.W. 91st Blvd.
Gainesville, FL 32653
(352) 377-2142